Business101: How to return to business post-lockdown
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced measures to ease the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown restrictions for a phased reopening of business activity to revive the economy.
What the full picture of the phased approach would look like is not yet certain. However, it is good news for the business that had to close and made losses as a result of the lockdown.
Here are a few tips to prepare your businesses to return to operation post-lockdown:
Stay informed and act within the law. Rely on information from official sources such as the government websites (www.gov.za) and trusted media platforms.
Start small and adjust your approach as you go.
For example, consider starting with a skeleton staff with the rest still working from home.
Opt for delivery options for your products before opening up shop entirely.
Pick up on the conversation with your suppliers to establish how they may or may not have been affected by the pandemic.
Make plans for interim supplies as you may not be able to source everything as normal.
Negotiate for smaller scale orders or more favourable rates to assist with business cash flow.
Take stock of your business positioning, verifying whether your core offering is still relevant to the market.
Tweaek and reposition where necessary and use global case studies of other brands for learnings in this regard.
Communicate your plan with your customers as soon as you can and ramp up your marketing to generate interest ahead of time.
Bear in mind that consumers could be spending more time online and will be most interested to purchase based on their current needs.
Do not neglect contingency plans and keep the necessary measures in place to respond to the circumstances as they unfold.
Take into consideration potential upcoming issues, such as staff falling ill or disrupted supply chains until the end of the year due to extended travel restrictions.
Don’t make promises to suppliers or customers that you cannot keep, and instead play open cards to retain trust.
Incorporate social distancing and high levels of hygiene into every aspect of your business as the onus is on you to play your part and be responsible.
Order hand sanitisers and protective gear for yourself, your staff and even customers. Look to continue work-from-home policies where possible and consider e-commerce where appropriate.
Ben Bierman is the managing director at Business Partners Limited.